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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Susana's Balancing Act: Dodging Bullets At Home While Playing Nationally; Dems Huff But Off She Goes, Plus: Is Guv's New Group A "Brownwash"? 

For Governor Susana it's about dodging bullets at the Roundhouse and heading out of town on the Old Santa Fe Trail to further her national political ambitions. It's a delicate balancing act (just ask former Governor Big Bill) but so far she has been blessed with a weak opposition that is giving her more freedom than a Republican Governor might expect in a Democratic state. For evidence, let's go to the videotape.

Susana was asked about that buck an hour increase in the minimum wage proposed by some Legislative Dems. She didn't even have to breath deep over the matter. Sure, you know she's opposed to it and would veto it if it got to her desk. She also knows something else you know: The odds of that bill getting to her desk are slim to none and slim just left the Roundhouse. Her mild-mannered quote:

During these uncertain and difficult economic times, we need to make sure that anything that passes through the Legislature makes New Mexico more competitive...

How about that? if you weren't the sophisticated blog reader you are, for a minute you may have thought she was for the darn thing. 

The split Dems simply can't make life difficult enough for her so off she goes. Who wants to talk about being 49th or 50th in everything or how this place is among the worst in the USA for job creation and folks are packing up and headed to the exits? Not when you can do this:
 
The nation's only two Hispanic governors will lead an expanded Republican effort to recruit Latino and female candidates for state offices across the country in an effort to build a base of potential party leaders. . .  Gov. Susana Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announce the formation of the Future Majority Caucus, which will focus on attracting and raising money for more minority candidates at the state level. Martinez and Sandoval were active in GOP minority recruitment efforts last year, although President Barack Obama received overwhelming support from minority voters, including Latinos and women, in the November election.

Susana's continued tip-toeing onto the national stage, even as she faces a 2014 re-elect here, is surely a gift form the political gods. If the Dems had been doing their jobs, Susana wouldn't even be able to hop over to Texico without a hue and a cry.

BROWN WASHING?

Not that the Dems aren't plenty mad about Susana's latest foray outside of the state boundaries. They are huffing and puffing over it, even if they can't blow her house down. From a Dem operative:

This announcement is a total "brown-washing" for lack of a better word and should be called out for what it very transparently is. 

Susana defunded the NM commission on status of women. Susana signed an executive order putting Arizona style immigration checks in place. NM continues to slide in jobs, education and poverty under her watch. Hardly the stuff of someone who is standing up for women and minorities. This decision smacks of mere symbolism. 

My, oh, my. She's a naughty lady, that Susana. So top legislative Democrats, how about busting some heads and rounding up the votes to send her some tough bills--like that minimum wage hike--that would force her hand? Well, she's apparently not that naughty.

CHIEF HUFFER

If anyone is the chief huffer and puffer on the Dem dais these days, it has to be Mr. Bombast himself--Sam Bregman. The man could set off a Category Three with the way he roars. But as he faces off with fellow attorney Roxanne Lara for the chairmanship of the state party, the bleacher seats want to know who Sam is huffing on behalf of--himself or the demoralized Dems who watch Susana waltz while they trip over their feet?

Well, to paraphrase Sinatra, put your dreams away for another day, Sam. Winning the state chairmanship in late April and then soon after announcing a 2014 Guv bid is not going to warm the hearts of the party faithful. He does seem to get it, sending out this rejoinder to the 400 or so central committee delegates who will make the decision:

By the way, being elected Dem State Party Chair is the only “job” I am interested in.  That’s why I ran in 2011 and the reason I am running today—--to build a strong, bold and energetic State Democratic Party. 

Well, not the Shermanesque statement of no intentions that some might want, but we suppose it's close enough for a lawyer.

THE GUV BEAT

Back on the Susana beat. (Really Guv, we must have Starbucks soon and dish the dirt about these Dems. We're both having too much fun). While her opposition here pokes at her with the force of that finger on the tummy of the Pillsbury dough boy, she is going to find the backbones stiffer when she starts talking about Republicans and Hispanics outside of our land of entrapment. By the numbers:

Less than a week after President Barack Obama highlighted his immigration proposals in Las Vegas, a new poll Monday shows 70% of Hispanics approve of the job he's doing. The number is slightly down from December, when 75% of Hispanics said they felt the same way, according to the Gallup survey.

And then there's the idea problem, as that Dem political operative above alluded to. A brown Republican talking old white man talk is...well...for old white men.

Martinez's move to compromise on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants just keeps her up with the pack. Where are the breakout ideas that appeal to Hispanics who have abandoned her party in droves? If there are none, Susana and the Nevada Governor would be better off spending their time at the craps tables in Vegas than on the campaign trail.

ELECTION RESULTS

That big $386 million bond and mill levy package for school repair and construction won resounding approval from ABQ voters Tuesday. Here are all the APS and CNM election results.

HE'LL TALK

On the Tuesday blog we picked up on a story from the UNM Daily Lobo that included a paragraph about how the paper could not reach newly appointed UNM Regent Conrad James. We wondered why James could not find time for a press interview. The university says the problem wasn't James hiding from an interview but that weekend messages left at a University office for James never made their way to him. Conrad is ready and willing to talk, they say.

Well, having been a member of that loquacious body known as the state Legislature, we bet he is....

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